"Add value to the platform"
This little nugget of wisdom is something you see tossed out as the way to attract new readers and followers on steemit, but what does it actually mean?
Obviously, there are nearly as many opinions about what's valuable, as there are people using this platform to communicate, so it can be confusing. I'll offer my take as a ten year veteran copywriter, and you can take it for what it's worth.
In my experience in content marketing and ghost writing, the digital universe places value on three types of content to varying degrees.
- Content that enlightens, opens the mind to new ideas, or expresses old ones in a fresh way.
- Content that educates, by sharing new information that the consumer can apply in their own lives.
- Content that entertains the audience and makes them want to spend time engaging with it.
I mentioned this last night on the Resteemit Radio Show on MSP Waves, and was immediately asked about it following the broadcast.
It's one of those things I've had engrained in my head for so long, I didn't think that much about the meaning when I said and I had to go back to the definition to know exactly what I meant by it.
So, let's take a look at those three things briefly. It may help you figure out why your content isn't landing with your audience.
Content that englightens
Enlightenment isn't just a word on a bumper sticker, and it isn't reserved for yogis on a mountain in Tibet. Englightenment is what happens when your mind and your heart get in sync and a concept becomes clearer.
When content is enlightening, it helps us see the world, or ourselves in a new, or clearer way. It's the aim of philosophy, religion, and even politics to some extent.
If your goal is to enlighten, here are some suggestions.
- Don't copy anyone else. Examine the topic through the filter of your own thinking and life experience and repackage it, even if it's something similar.
- Question everything you believe and hold onto only what really holds true. That way you're sharing what you believe to be universal truth.
- Make your audience examine their own beliefs and preconceived ideas of how things are. Give them a new perspective.
Content that educates
Education is a loaded word right now, in my part of the world. We have a definition, based on a half century of federalized education. We tend to think of it as something that happens in a classroom, or lecture hall, or is dispensed from text books. A lot of us are not big fans.
But, the truth is, education isn't something that happens in a classroom, it's something we do every day. Any time you introduce something new to an audience, in one sense, you are educating. The more intentional you are about the way you share it, the more impact it can have.
When you write, or produce content with teaching in mind, try this.
- Don't assume prior knowledge in your audience. Sometimes you have to start from the beginning.
- Be careful, when starting with basics, not to talk down to them. This is the flipside of not assuming too much knowledge. You can lose them if you seem condescending.
- Add value to your work, by pointing them to other resources for further learning, or by creating a series, or even content project around that theme.
Content that entertains
Of the three, this is the one that tends to be most subjective. So much depends on your audience. I spent over twenty years acting and teaching theater. Not everyone will appreciate your idea of entertainment. That's okay.
With any type of content, knowing your audience is crucial, but with entertainment, it may be the most important thing. What will have one audience rolling with laughter, or balling their eyes, will have another gasping in disgust and rolling their eyes.
If you aim to entertain, here are some things to keep in mind.
- Keep your audience in mind at every step of the way. If you offend, or bore them, you risk losing their attention, maybe permanently.
- Remember, your content doesn't have to "play" to everyone. Just because one person doesn't like it, doesn't mean no one will.
- Be yourself. This may sound like a strange thing for an actor to say, but the work we engage with most, comes from a deep place in the creator's experience. Share that.
It is my belief that the best content, can do all three. Think of your favorite movie, or book, or even lecturer, or comedian. It's likely they entertain and enlighten some aspect of life for you. If you learn from it, they also educate.